21 May 2016 – Mourning Warbler and Yellow-billed Cuckoo

With apologies for the 1) poor and 2) non-existent photos . . .

I found an ASY male Mourning Warbler (fat = 0) at the main north entrance this morning. He was waaaaay better looking than these photos attest, and I bet he was even more handsome in life.

 

In the northwest alcove lay a female (with well-developed brood patch!) Yellow-billed Cuckoo (no photo).  I left the cuckoo in place, as the ants were already doing a number on her.

 

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In scavenging news, the starling from 5/18 was both moved and eaten: I found a remnant pile of its larger feathers about 5m away from the bird’s location. Whatever picked it up had taken it south to the bushes in front of the northern entrance.

3 September 2014 – Mourning Warbler

I found this AHY, fat = 2, female Mourning Warbler at the southwest alcove this morning.  My warm memories of these birds are of finding them skulking through the ferns in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, with the males’ ringing and rolling song sharing airspace with the Winter Wrens’.  Dead at a window in a landscape of steel, glass, and concrete is an ill-fitting end to what must have been an exciting, adventurous life for this little gem.

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2 September 2013 – bonus Mourning Warbler

No casualties at the Noble Research Center this morning, but I found this bonus Mourning Warbler on the south side of the Food and Ag Products Center.

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This was a hatch year bird, and probably a female.  She was in prime shape for migration, with fat = 2.  No Mourning Warbler should end up stiff on a sidewalk in Oklahoma.  Here’s where these birds are supposed to be in the first two days of September:

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25 August 2012 – no casualties; trapped warbler

Today, the Painted Bunting remains in place but the Ruby-throated Hummingbird carcass is fully gone.  It lasted approximately 5 days.

At the north entrance, I flushed a small, olive-green warbler with noticeably long and yellow undertail coverts.  The bird bumped the glass near me, but I was able to steer it away from the building and into some ornamental trees.  I was unsuccessful at relocating it after that.  My best guess is that the bird is a Mourning Warbler, given size, coloration, and the long undertail coverts.  The spatial distribution of collisions now looks like this:

 

Six-month summary: July–December 2010

Here is just a quick summary of casualties at the Noble Research Center from July through December 2010:


Very fat Mourning Warbler that never made it to the wintering grounds.

I detected 25 individuals of at least 16 species among the casualties. The complete list:

grasshopper sparrow – 4
ruby-throated hummingbird – 2
mourning warbler – 2
song sparrow – 2
Lincoln’s sparrow – 2
unidentified passerine (1 warbler, 1 sparrow) – 2
black-and-white warbler – 1
Carolina wren – 1
mourning dove (juv) – 1
least flycatcher – 1
common yellowthroat – 1
black-throated green warbler – 1
brown thrasher – 1
house wren – 1
red-breasted nuthatch – 1
white-throated sparrow – 1
field sparrow – 1

Because I was able to get to the NRC earlier each day during autumn than practical in 2009, I encountered more individuals that were stunned and “trapped” by the building for some time period without obvious mortal injury. Most of these birds are presumed to have eventually moved on, but it is quite likely that the house wren and one of the Lincoln’s sparrows on the “stunned” list were unsuccessful in their respective bids to escape from the confusion of the NRC, and are listed above. The bat represents the first mammalian “capture” by the NRC:

Lincoln’s sparrow – 5 (4 in one flock)
house wren – 1
common yellowthroat – 1
Nashville warbler – 1
grasshopper sparrow – 1
dark-eyed junco – 1


It’s dark when migrants like this Lincoln’s sparrow drop out of the sky and try to find a good spot in which to rest for the day. I’m beginning to think that most collisions are occurring in that last hour before sunrise.

Bonus Ag Hall casualty – 8 November 2010

I noticed this poor junco yesterday morning (11/8). It’s just a few feet from this Mourning Warbler that hit the same window on May 17, and this Sharp-shinned Hawk that hit that same window on Oct. 16, 2009. So the same window has now claimed at least three individuals of three different species in a little more than a year. If you look out from the north window on the 2nd floor of Ag Hall, you can see the junco and the mummified remains of the Mourning Warbler.


See the junco? This is the perspective from which I first noticed all three birds.

September 2010 summary

It looks like Sep. 1 is the only day I did not check for casualties this month. Here’s what I found on the days I did check:

2 Mourning Warblers
1 unidentified warbler
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Brown Thrasher